September 6, 2017 in Real Estate

6 interior home remodeling projects that give the best bang for the buck

Trying to make your home “Flip or Flop”-worthy? Home renovations that return the most at resale aren’t particularly sexy, but they can be. The home project that pays back the most money when you sell comes from a project that’s invisible unless you climb into the attic, according to the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report.

Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report compares average costs for 29 common remodeling projects in 99 metropolitan areas, done by professionals. The report also looks at the average value that each project returns if the house is sold a year after the work is done.

These six interior home remodeling projects deliver the highest return.



Professionals build a 16-by-25-foot family room. On the outside: vinyl siding, a shingle roof, windows, a skylight and atrium-style doors. On the inside: a hardwood floor and 12 recessed ceiling lights.

Need more room? Pay for it with a home equity line.

Workers finish a 20-by-30-foot entertainment area in the basement, with a bar with a sink and under-counter refrigerator, and a small, full bathroom. Typically, a project of this kind is financed with a home equity line of credit.

This is a complex project, as you can see by the cost, which can be covered by borrowing against the home’s equity. It adds a family room on the ground floor and a bedroom with a full bathroom on the second floor. The new wing is 16 by 24 feet.

Spiff up a 200-square-foot kitchen with refaced cabinets, new countertops and energy-efficient appliances. It’s pretty much the same kitchen but with a new look.

How do you pay for kitchen remodeling? With a home equity line of credit.

Want a new, steel front door with glass panels in the top half? Prospective buyers will pretty much pay for it, as this project recoups most of its cost at resale. This, plus other projects, can be financed with a home equity line.

When Remodeling says this project recoups 108 percent of its cost, it’s talking only about resale value, not about energy savings. The lower heating and cooling bills are a bonus. That makes sealing and insulating the attic to an R-30 insulation value a no-brainer.

We showed you the projects with the highest return. Now see the five interior home remodeling projects that deliver the lowest return.